Entitlement spending accounts for most erroneous federal payments, and it’s only going to get worse, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro told Congress Thursday.
“Improper” Medicaid, Medicare, and Earned Income Tax Credit disbursements made up 75 percent of all erroneous federal payments in fiscal year 2014, and were the main driver behind a nearly $19 billion increase in improper payments — from $105.8 billion in fiscal year 2013 to $124.7 billion in fiscal year 2014, Dodaro told the Senate Finance Committee.
Dodaro heads the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
Medicare incorrectly paid out one of every $10 the program spent last year, or $59.9 billion of its $603 billion budget.
Entitlement spending is going to keep going up. “Federal spending in Medicare and Medicaid is expected to significantly increase, so it is critical that actions are taken to reduce improper payments in these programs,” he said.
Fixing “improper payments,” which are funds given to the wrong person, in the incorrect amount, or without the right documentation, will improve the country’s overall fiscal position.
“Reducing improper payments is critical to safeguarding federal funds and could help achieve cost savings and improve the government’s fiscal position,” he said.
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